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Subject: Formula Terminology

• From: robert_weir@us.ibm.com
• To: "office-formula@lists.oasis-open.org" <office-formula@lists.oasis-open.org>
• Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 17:29:21 -0500

```I'm noticing a lot of terminological issues in the financial functions,
especially the same concepts being referred to by multiple terms.  We
should strive to use different terms only when we want to refer to
different things.  A standard is not an exercise in creative writing.
Synonyms are not our friend.

I've started a Wiki page to track the issues as I find them.  Not much
there yet, but it will grow.

http://wiki.oasis-open.org/office/Formula_Terminology

I'm also wonder about the redundancy in the function summary and the
semantics.  In many cases the semantics section starts with a sentence
that is a verbatim repetition of  the function summary, often verbatim.
But sometimes it isn't.  I think we want to avoid redundancy here.  Maybe
we don't need the summary at all?

Constraints -- there also vary in the way they are used.  What is the
intent here?  For example, for PRICE():

Constraints: Rate, AnnualYield, and Redemption should be greater than 0;
Frequency = 1, 2 or 4.

1) Why is this a "should"?
2) What happens if the constraints are violated?

Compare to RATE():

If Nper is 0 or less than 0, the result is an error.

Do we really mean to say that constraint violations are errors in some
functions, but not in others?

Also, could we eliminate 80% of the constraints by simply defining
PositiveNumber and NonNegativeNumber pseudo-types?  It will be far easier
to express these kinds of constraints as datatype constraints than trying
to repeat these trivial constraints in the body of the text.

Regards,

-Rob

```

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